Young’s Tyler Beard (24) twist his body as he goes to the basket, Wednesday 01-16-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Markese Jacobs sparkles, but Young’s defense wins it in overtime

SHARE Markese Jacobs sparkles, but Young’s defense wins it in overtime
SHARE Markese Jacobs sparkles, but Young’s defense wins it in overtime

Just in case anyone forgot, Uplift’s Markese Jacobs is the best senior in the city. The DePaul recruit was sensational on his home court Wednesday, pushing No. 5 Young to the limit.

The Dolphins were up to the task. They erased a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Uplift 103-100 in overtime.

“Markese is a great player,” Young junior DJ Steward said. “He was getting into the paint at will. We just knew we had to find a way to win no matter what. I have never been in a game where two teams scored over 100. This is my first year in the conference, I love playing in it. Every game is, I don’t know, lit. It’s fun to play in the is type of environment.”

Jacobs is a master of the high-pressure Public League environment. He finished with 46 points, six rebounds and eight steals. He was 25-for-26 from the free-throw line. Jacobs’ 22 consecutive made free throws tied the all-time state record. His 25 free throws are the fourth most in a game in state history according to the Illinois High School Association website.

“Wow, what can we do?,” Steward said “He’s getting to the free-throw line at will. He’s a tough player, I give my props to him and the way he played.”

Steward scored 33 and grabbed nine rebounds. He was clutch in overtime, scoring Young’s final six points at the line.


Uplift had a chance to tie but Jacobs’ turnaround three-pointer from the corner rimmed out.

“That was the shot we wanted,” Titans coach David Taylor said. “He’s used to that type of pressure. It was a good shot. I thought we had a chance, it just didn’t fall for us.”

Uplift (9-7, 3-4 Red-North/West), which had committed just a handful of turnovers in the game, crumbled when Young (15-6, 5-1) started to use a full-court press in the fourth quarter.

“We knew that was coming and we worked on it all day yesterday in practice,” Taylor said. “Just calm down and trust each other and you will be ok. But teenagers for whatever reason they get excited or they get rushed or they feel anxious. It just all fell apart.”

The Titans were short-handed for a majority of the game due to disciplinary issues. Tavion Underwood did not play at all and DeAndre Vortes missed the first half. He scored 10 in the fourth quarter.

“To me this game was a gamble,” Jacobs said. “It was go out and play with what you got and see what the outcome is, see if you can carry the team.”

Myles Baker’s smart play sent the game to overtime. Jacobs scored with 18 seconds left to put the Titans ahead 89-87 but Baker, who finished with 23 points, raced down court to score with five seconds left in regulation.

Junior Tyler Beard had 28 points and seven rebound for Young.

“We just started digging in and we had more grit,” Steward said. “We wanted to win this pretty bad.”

Elliott Sieger came in late in the fourth quarter to guard Jacobs. The junior did his best to get in Jacobs’ head, jawing at him at the free-throw line.

“Elliott said [the refs] were bailing me out, that I was flopping,” Jacobs said. “[That] no one has ever hit this many free throws.”

Sieger also drew a crucial charge call with eight seconds left in overtime. Jacobs was dribbiling across half court court with the ball, Uplift trailed by three and Jacobs was clearly intent on tying the game.

“[Sieger] was there but he was still moving,” Jacobs said. “It was a 50/50 call, it was a gamble.”

Junior Greg Rubin had 19 points and six rebounds for the Titans and Detalian Brown scored 16.

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